By Richard Khavkine and Erin O’Neill New Jersey officials are reopening the appeals period for residents whose initial applications for two Hurricane Sandy relief programs were denied, according to the state Department of Community Affairs, the agency…
Governor Chris Christie came to the bayshore with members of his cabinet yesterday with a sobering message for residents battered by Superstorm Sandy who a waiting for government assistance to rebuild their homes and to comply with new government imposed requirements for those homes.
New Jersey sustained $37 billion in damage from Sandy. Federal assistance to New Jersey will tap out at between $15 and $20 billion, Christie said.
It’s been 15 months since Superstorm Sandy ravaged New Jersey. The first $1.83 billion in relief from the Department of Housing and Urban Development has been spent or is committed. Another $1.46 billion is being applied for, but it will be another three months at least before that money starts to flow.
The HUD Community Block Development Grants (CBDG) grants are the last resort funding for homeowners and renters/landlords, designed to fill needs not covered by insurance proceeds, FEMA assistance, Small Business Administration loans and other sources.
Before New Jersey receives the $1.46 billion second round of funding, there is a 30 day public comment period on the CDBG Disaster Recovery Action Plan. The public comment period runs through March 5. In Monmouth County, there will be a public hearing on February 13 at Brookdale Community College, Robert J. Collins Arena, 765 Newman Springs Rd, Lincroft from 4pm-7pm. There will be hearing is Atlantic County at Stockton University on February 11 and in Essex County at the New Jersey Institute of Technology on the 12th. Written comments can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org or can be provided by mail to the attention of Gabrielle Gallagher, NJ Department of Community Affairs, 101 South Broad Street, Post Office Box 800, Trenton, New Jersey 08625-0800. All comments must be submitted by 5 p.m. on March 5, 2014.
photo by Art Gallagher. Click on image for larger view.
Governor Chris Christie and First Lady Mary Pat Christie visited Highlands Elementary School this morning to accept a $4.5 million dollar gift to the Hurricane Sandy Relief Fund from the United Arab Emirates (UAE). Ambassador to the United States Yousef Al Otaiba made the presentation and, along with the Christies, met with students of the school’s Summer Camp Program.
The UAE Embassy gift, made on behalf of the people of the UAE, will help address critical technology needs, such as infrastructure construction to increase internet bandwidth capacity, wiring and hardware for instructional areas, acquisition of mobile computing devices for faculty and students, and additional training for teachers and administrators.
The event will feature live entertainment, silent auction, cocktail party and dancing. Scheduled entertainers include Big Joe Henry, Pat Guadagno, Kyle Grooms of Comedy Central & The Dave Chappelle Show, Gordon Baker-Bone, Craig Mahoney & Carolina Hidalgo. Spotlight performances by Vini ‘Mad Dog’ Lopez, Bobby Banderia, Marc Ribler, Brian Kirk, Sonny Kenn, Joe Petillo, Matt O’Ree.
Tickets are $100 and are available through Buono Sera Bar and Restaurant, 732-530-5858.